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Author Topic: What a difference a year makes  (Read 239 times)

Offline cao

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What a difference a year makes
« on: May 23, 2020, 12:12:07 am »
How's everybody's year going so far?  I've been able to stay ahead of my bees this year for the most part and making splits this year instead of catching swarms.  But because of the up and down temperatures and off and on rain my splits are not being very successful this year.  Previous years I would get 70-80% with a laying queen.  Today I checked 24 mating nucs with only 10 having a laying queen.  Several of them had already developed laying workers. 

Offline jvalentour

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 10:37:14 am »
From Dearborn County
I?m having similar results. 
My splits were very strong. Bad luck with weather. Started dropping in frames with eggs last week
Not seeing laying workers
Not seeing many nucs for sale on Craig?s list.

Online JurassicApiary

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 01:29:10 pm »
So far my two hives are exploding in numbers. Queens are laying heavily.  I have not done any splits this spring so I can't comment on success rates to that end.  Honey production is in full swing and frames are getting heavier and heavier each inspection.  Aside from my goof with frame spacing issues in one of the hives causing excessive comb due to beekeeper error, I'm pleased with this year so far.  I'm working on rectifying that, but it's a slow process.  As I started my beekeeping journey last fall, I don't have as much to compare it to, but I've learned a lot so far and look forward to continuing to learn more with each inspection.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 02:30:23 pm »
What a difference a few months has made for my late season Nucs that I started late Fall. Most did well and showed promise form the very start. However a couple looked very iffy through the cold months. I was wondering if these would make it. Coming out of winter with just 2 frames, I was still skeptical .
Skepticism in now far removed! These Litte diinkie nuc experiments are booming and are now double deeps filled with brood ready for QE and honey supers! They are behind the other hives even so. I am learning as I go and perhaps I will get what honey I can from these and break them down into several nucs again this fall. Using as a tool to help sustain my little apiaries.  Yes what a difference a year can make or even less than a year in this case.

Offline Nock

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 03:28:32 pm »
I haven?t done any splits either. Started out with 3. Now got 9 in the yard. And two more traps that got bees that I?ve haven?t moved home yet. I?ve grown a lot quicker than I expected. Not sure if I?ll do any splits or not. I?m about 1.5 south of CAO. And yes it?s been a weird spring.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 04:57:55 am »
So very happy to hear the reports of bees doing well and of beekeepers keeping up and perhaps even a bit ahead of their bees.
Question:   When you folks say your splits are not successful, may you please clarify? Are you doing splits with mated queen introduction, or ripe cells, or are you doing walk away splits - no queen?  It makes a hugemongus difference to us which method you are talking about and how to interpret your results.

In my world, my climate and constraints:
 -  a "split" is done with a mated queen in a cage or a laying queen along with her 3 frame nuc
 -  the break down of a large hive into multiple small mating nucs is done with ripe queens cells at the ready.
 -  walk away split, around here by me, is a serious faux pas and never ever done except by the foolish.

As for the question:  how's my year going so far?
It was a late start. A long winter followed by spring that never came. Have been thrust straight into early summer. The bees are making up for the late start. Things in the hive are happening FAST. Keeping up, but barely.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 05:13:32 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 06:33:14 am »
It funny how different climate and areas makes or breaks some hive management.
In OZ in our area we do spits by taking capped and open brood into 4 or 5frame nucs and they make their own queen. our success rate if the weather is good and the canola is flowering well, would be 80-90% but if conditions are really good about 95%.
Our nucs are well loaded, 2 frames brood in 4 fr nuc and 3 frames in 5 frame nuc. Plus a shake of nurse bees from another frame.
I know you are already thinking, when that brood hatches there are too many bees, yes that is the theory but it is successful for us.
Some of these nucs are in 8 frame hives in 2 months or some times less.
We do 70-90 nucs each spring, some for us but a lot for sale as nucs or in hives that people supply, especially flow hives.
I

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 08:01:11 am »
> So very happy to hear the reports of bees doing well and of beekeepers keeping up and perhaps even a bit ahead of their bees.

In my particular case I was reporting on the good news of my late season nucs. Unlike the first two posters, I have had swarms. (The bad news).  I am however learning lol

As far as splits, my first season I used mated queens, and during the fall.  Second fall season as Oldbeavo except I was cheap and thrifty on using brood, (Thus the dinky Nucs).  This season I am excited about a new method that I had mentioned here of queen raising.  We will see. I don?t mind trying and experimenting, but at the same time, If this does not work, I will graft as you pros already do. Actually it might be a good idea for experimental reasons and interest in the name fun sake, to use both methods at the same time.

Adding;
Michale Palmers teaching of a sustainable apiary has made a huge impression on me. Time to put those teachings it into practice though in my case, on a smaller scale.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 03:10:39 pm »
The toughest decision for me is to give up on the split if the new queen isn?t seen, nor are eggs/larvae.
Because the  Queen cell Cap is neatly cut. 
The bees seem happy .... maybe she?s just slow. ...though there isn?t any polishing in the second frame next to the pollen stores. No empty nest. Yet...virgin queens can hide.  Maybe she?s out mating right now.  Or maybe she?s just taking awhile.  No laying workers yet. 
It?s a hard decision. 
When should I give up and combine them?

I would think at this point - even with 3 frames of house bees squirreling away pollen and honey- that there aren?t enough nurse bees to add a frame of eggs, and let them have another go .... and wait another month for results.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 07:27:18 pm »
Florida gardner
If you go to another hive and find the queen, then take a frame of open brood with eggs,with the bees, which will have nurse bees on it and add to the nuc.
We would give the nuc a dusting with icing sugar to create some confusion and when it all sorts out they will accept the new bees.
Then check to see if you get a QC.
If you don't then you will get a nice strong nuc and the presence of brood will deter a laying worker that may have occurred if you just wait.
Only my thoughts, others may have some better ideas.

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 08:35:09 pm »
Thanks Oldbeavo! I would never have thought to use powdered sugar for combining bees from different colonies. That one was worth the money.

Offline cao

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Re: What a difference a year makes
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 02:32:28 am »
Question:   When you folks say your splits are not successful, may you please clarify? Are you doing splits with mated queen introduction, or ripe cells, or are you doing walk away splits - no queen?  It makes a hugemongus difference to us which method you are talking about and how to interpret your results.

In my world, my climate and constraints:
 -  a "split" is done with a mated queen in a cage or a laying queen along with her 3 frame nuc
 -  the break down of a large hive into multiple small mating nucs is done with ripe queens cells at the ready.
 -  walk away split, around here by me, is a serious faux pas and never ever done except by the foolish.


My mating nucs were 3-5 frames of bees with capped queen cell on one of the frames.  I did do several walk away spilts also.  They seemed to do a little better.